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Upset Alert: Utah State Could Win Outright At Tennessee
It's a rare opening weekend Sunday of NCAA football prior to the NFL opening next weekend as there are two games on the schedule. Expect host Baylor to bash SMU as the Bears are 33-point favorites. The 74 point total is the highest of any Week 1 matchup. It's possible that Tennessee, looking to get back to national relevance under Coach Butch Jones, could get upset when Utah State visits as a 6-point underdog. The Aggies are priced at +200 at BetOnline with a 51.5 total.
Know Chuckie Keeton
It's usually smart to go with the best QB when teams are somewhat evenly matched, and USU has by far the better on in Chuckie Keaton, a long-shot Heisman contender. Keeton nearly led USU to an upset of Auburn to open the 2011 season in which the Tigers scored two late touchdowns to escape with a victory. In 2012, USU should have beat Wisconsin but missed a field goal in the final seconds of a 16-14 loss. Last year at USC, the Trojans edged the Aggies 17-14 in The Coliseum. Keeton is 14-5 as a starter the last two seasons with victories over Utah and nationally ranked Louisiana Tech.
The senior's 2013 season was cut short by an ACL team but he but has been one of college football’s most exciting players the past few years and has collected 70 total touchdowns in just 30 career games. Keeton was putting up some gaudy numbers during his junior season before missing the final eight games with a knee injury suffered against BYU on Oct. 4. Through his first five games, Keeton ranked second in the nation with 17 touchdown passes, while also ranking first in the Mountain West and second in the nation in points responsible for (22.8 pg). Keeton concluded his junior campaign completing 136-of-196 passes for 1,388 yards (231.3 ypg) with 18 touchdowns and two interceptions, while rushing for 241 yards on 55 carries.
Utah State enters the 2014 season having won 25 of its last 33 games and those eight losses have been by a combined 48 points. Utah State is 11-5 during its last 16 road games dating back to the 2012 season, averaging 32.7 points per game during that stretch. Utah State has forced at least one turnover in each of its last 23 games dating back to the 2012 season. Overall, USU is 1-16 all-time against SEC schools with its lone win coming at Kentucky, 35-6, on Oct. 10, 1970.
Inconsistent Worley For Vols
Justin Worley starts at QB for the Vols. He beat out Joshua Dobbs and Nathan Peterman for the job, which was up for grabs after a season of inconsistent quarterbacking. Worley completed 55.6 percent of his passes with 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions, but a thumb injury ended his season in late October. Sunday marks the first-ever meeting between Tennessee and Utah State. UT is 15-1 all-time vs. current Mountain West schools, with the last game vs. a MWC school resulting in the only loss (13-7 to Wyoming in ‘08). The Vols have won five consecutive and 17 of their last 19 season openers since 1995. Here's why you should lean USU, not just for Keeton: The Aggies are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 non-conference games. The Vols are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games.
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